Yale Law Library - Foreign and International Blog
Browse by Tags
» international law
World AIDS Day - December 1
December 1st marks World AIDS Day, commemorated
annually since 1988. Events will take place around the world. The day
is seen as one promoting human rights, and the campaign slogan is universal
access and human rights. There is a major rights campaign under the banner of Light for Rights.
According to the World Health Organization, as of 2009, there were 33.3 million
people living with HIV, including 2.7 million children. In 2009, 2.6 million
people were newly infected with HIV, and 1.8 million died because of the
Sub-Saharan Africa is
the area most affected by the virus. In 2009, it accounted for 67% of the infections
worldwide, 68% of new infections among adults, and 91% among children. It also
accounted for 72% of the world’s AIDS related deaths.
Law virtually touches on all things, and it is not
surprising that the Yale Law Library’s collection includes numerous books on
law as it relates to AIDS. A few recent examples of books especially bearing
onAIDS and human rights are the
- Jones, Peris S., AIDS Treatment and Human Rights in Context
- Dwasi, Jane A., The Human Right to Work in the Era of HIV and AIDS
- Engh, Ida-Eline, Developing
Capacity to Realise Socio-Economic Rights: The Right to Food in the
Context of HIV/AIDS in South Africa and Uganda
- Human Sciences Research Council,
Associates for Development, International Center for Research on Women, Women’s
Property Rights HIV and AIDS and Domestic Violence: Research Findings
From Two Districts in South Africa and Uganda
- Mapetia, Matseliso, Gender, HIV/AIDS, and the Law in Lesotho:
Embracing Rights-Based-Approach to Promote Women’s Sexual and ReproductionRights
There is also a great webpage that can lead you to the HIV/AIDS laws of the world: HIV/AIDS Laws of the World.
----- Daniel Wade
The European Convention on Human Rights turns 60
The European Convention on Human rights turned 60 this month.
In celebration of this event, the European Court of Human Rights has devoted a page to demonstrating the Convention in video and pictures. The page even has illustrations of the specific articles of the convention, such as the right to a fair trial:
Today the Court released ten judgments, and will release ten more on November 23rd, and then 17 more on the 25th.
Today's judgments included a ruling in Boutagni v. France, about a Moroccan national who argued that his expulsion from France would subject him to degrading treatment and torture. Recent judgments have included Alexseyev v. Russia (violation of peaceable right to assembly by a gay rights activist).
A subject heading search in Morris for the European Convention On Human Rights will redirect you towards Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) where you will find hundreds of books in our collection.
----- Ryan Harrington
Finding cases from the United Kingdom
Cases from the UK are published in many reporters, both official and unofficial, and online in several databases. The new Bluebook (19th ed.) gives the names of the reporters considered authoritative and a list of acceptable online services. In fact, for cases after 2001, a neutral citation from BAILII, the British and Irish Legal Information Institute, is required (T2.42, p.408). An example of a neutral citation is, Glasgow Corp. v. Central Land Board,  UKHL 7.
Cases from England and Wales are often sought after for sourcecites and general research. As explained in the Bluebook (T2.42.1, p.414), cases after 1865 are published in and should be cited to the official Law Reports, which consists of many different sets of reporters including
- Appeal Cases (A.C.) - KD275.4
- Related earlier reporters in this series are:
- Chancery Division (Ch.) - KD276.3 .L39
- Queen's Bench (Q.B.) - KD277.7 .L39
- King's Bench (K.B.) - KD277.7 .L39 (same as above, but when a King reigned)
- Probate Division (P.) - KD279.3 .L39
- Family Division (Fam.) - KD279.4 .L39 (replacing Probate Division in 1972)
If the case cannot be found in Law Reports, you can use the following reporters, in order of preference:
- Weekly Law Reports (W.L.R.) - KD282
- All England Law Reports (All E.R.) - KD288 .A64
There are still more print reporters that can be used if needed, such as:
- Lloyd's Law Reports (L.L.R.) - KD1815 .A2 .L57
- Human Rights Law Reports - UK Cases (H.R.L.R.) - KD4080 .A38 H86
- UK Human Rights Reports (U.K.H.R.R.) - we do not have
- International Law Reports (I.L.R.) - KZ199 .I58
Finally, you can find cases from the United Kingdom in several databases:
As always, please feel free to see a librarian for assistance in this complicated quest. Also see this research guide.
Database trials for International Law, Human Rights, Tax, Tax Treaties, and eBooks
We have free trials right now for:
It is very important for us to hear whether you believe we should license any of these databases. So please use these databases and provide feedback to Teresa. Thank you!
Raoul Wallenberg Day
October 5th marks Raoul Wallenberg Day. This is
the day he was awarded United States citizenship in 1981, posthumously.
(The second person to receive this honor after Winston Churchill).
Part of 15th Street, SW in Washington, D.C., the section where the United
States Holocaust Memorial Museum is located, is named Raoul Wallenberg Place.
Raoul Wallenberg (1912-1947) was a Swedish diplomat who
worked in Budapest, Hungary, during World War II to rescue Jews from the
Holocaust; he saved tens of thousands of them. The Raoul Wallenberg Institute
of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law located in Lund, Sweden, is an independent academic institution named in his
honor. The mission of the institute is “to promote universal respect for human
rights and humanitarian law by means of research, academic education,
dissemination and institutional development.”
One of the important human rights resources in the Yale Law Library is the Raoul Wallenberg Institute Human
Rights Library. A recent example from this monographic series is International
Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms: Essays in Honour of Jakob Th. Moller. In conjunction with Martinus Nijhoff, the
Institute publishes four serials: the Baltic Yearbook of International Law, the Chinese Yearbook of Human Rights, the Nordic Journal of International Law, and the International Journal of Minority
and Group Rights.
----- Daniel Wade
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights files first sexual orientation-based discrimination case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
The Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights has filed
the first sexual orientation-based discrimination
case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The IACHR published the
following press release:
TAKES CASE INVOLVING CHILE TO THE INTER-AMERICAN COURT
Washington, D.C., September 20,
2010 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) filed an
application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in a case involving
On September 17, 2010, the IACHR filed an application
in the Karen Atala and daughters, which concerns the
discriminatory treatment and arbitrary interference in the private and family
life Karen Atala experienced due to her sexual orientation. In the Merits
Report 139/09, the Commission concluded that the State of Chile was responsible
for the discrimination against Karen Atala in the course of judicial process
that resulted in the decision to deny her the care and custody of her
daughters. The case also concerns the failure to observe the best interest of
her daughters, whose custody and care the Commission considered were determined
in violation to their rights. The case was referred to the
Inter-American Court because the IACHR concluded the State did not comply with
the recommendations contained in its Merits Report.
is the first case that the Inter-American Commission decides on discrimination
based on sexual orientation. This case will allow the Inter-American Court to
decide for the first time on the incompatibility of this type of discrimination
with the American Convention.
A principal, autonomous body of
the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from
the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American
Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and
acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is
composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by
the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or
Commission on Human Rights, created in 1959, is primarily charged
with the taskf promoting the observance and defense of human rights in the Americas.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights was created in 1979. It is an autonomous judicial institution of the OAS whose task is to interpret and enforce the American
Convention on Human Rights. Decisions from the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights can be found here on the website of the Court and can also be found, along with select decisions from the IACHR, in the
Oxford Reports on International Law - Human Rights module.
human rights system helps explain the differences between the commission and the court. We
also have manuals on practice and procedure before the Court. In addition, we have a wealth
of information about the Court and Commission in Spanish. Simply
search the catalog for Inter-American Commission on Human Rights or Inter-American Court of Human Rights
as subject headings.
---- Ryan Harrington
New International Law Research Guides
We have just created two new research guides for those of you
interested in foreign and international law research; one on International Arbitration and another on International Investment Law.
You will find tabs for treatises, journals, awards and decisions,
treaties, institutions, and current awareness. As always, our
guides are works-in-progress so please feel free to speak with any of
librarians about suggestions or questions you may have.
Students who are considering paper
topics might want to consult the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law and the Electronic
Information System for International Law to gain some familiarity
with subjects and resources on a wide variety of topics.
For those of you interested in arbitration, our new Global Arbitration Review
database provides not only the electronic version of the journal, but also news
and trends regarding arbitration. You can also go directly to the
Permanent Court of Arbitration
site to examine recent decisions as well as
documents for cases that are currently pending before the court. The
PCA only identifies cases on their site when parties have agreed, but
include all sorts of documents, including transcripts of the hearings
webcasts when available. There are many other ways to find out what is
currently happening in arbitration, so take a look at our research
Other research guides can be found on the law library website.
---- Ryan Harrington
Trade Law Guide - trial subscription!
The Yale Law Library has obtained a trial subscription for the next month or so to the Trade Law Guide. This database is a new WTO research product. It is the only database on WTO law that enables the user to "note up" WTO law. "Noting up" refers to examining the judicial treatment of legislation or a case and is a crucial step in legal research.
This trial subscription is available to all member of the Yale community when connected to the Yale network (IP access).
The Law Library appreciates any feedback regarding this database. Please direct your comment to email@example.com.
THIS WEEK: Live Hearings from ITLOS, Hamburg, Germany
Beginning today, Tuesday, September 14, 2010, and for the next three days, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea will be transmitting live hearings from Tribunal on their website: http://www.itlos.org/procedings/video/live_en.shtml. The subject of the hearings is a Request for an Advisory Opinion on the responsibilities and obligations of States sponsoring persons and entities with respect to activities in the International Seabed Area.
The times of the hearings are local time Germany, which is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Thus, today's hearing that begins at 3pm in Hamburg, begins at 9am in New Haven.
Below please find ITLOS' Press Release:
INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE LAW OF THE SEA
TRIBUNAL INTERNATIONAL DU DROIT DE LA MER
RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS OF STATES SPONSORING PERSONS AND ENTITIES WITH RESPECT TO ACTIVITIES IN THE
INTERNATIONAL SEABED AREA
(REQUEST FOR ADVISORY OPINION
SUBMITTED TO THE SEABED DISPUTES CHAMBER)
PUBLIC HEARING TO BE HELD FROM 14 SEPTEMBER 2010
LIVE WEBCAST OF THE HEARINGS ON THE TRIBUNAL’S WEBSITE
Hamburg, 6 September 2010. The public hearings of the Seabed Disputes Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea regarding the Request for an Advisory Opinion on the responsibilities and obligations of States sponsoring persons and entities with respect to activities in the International Seabed Area will open on 14 September 2010 at 3 p.m. Judge Tullio Treves, President of the Chamber, will preside. The public hearings will be transmitted live on the Tribunal’s website.
By Order of 18 May 2010, the President of the Seabed Disputes Chamber invited States Parties to the Convention, the International Seabed Authority and those organizations invited as intergovernmental organizations to participate as observers in the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority to indicate their intention to make oral statements at the hearing no later than 3 September 2010.
Nine States and three intergovernmental organizations have expressed their intention to participate in the hearings. These are: Federal Republic of Germany, Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Argentine Republic, Republic of Chile, Republic of Fiji Islands, United Mexican States,Republic of Nauru, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Russian Federation, International Seabed Authority, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The schedule for the hearings adopted by the President of the Chamber is as follows:
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
3 p.m.: International Seabed Authority
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Germany
(to be continued from 3 p.m. if necessary)
Thursday, 16 September 2010
10 a.m. – 1p.m.: Nauru
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
International Union for Conservation of Nature
(to be continued from 3 p.m. if necessary)
The verbatim records of the hearings will be published daily on the website of the Tribunal at http://www.itlos.org/cgi-bin/cases/case_detail.pl?id=17&lang=en. The hearings can be viewed live at: http://www.itlos.org/procedings/video/live_en.shtml.
History of the proceedings
On 6 May 2010, the Council of the International Seabed Authority adopted Decision ISBA/16/C/13 during the Authority’s Sixteenth Session, in which, in accordance with article 191 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it decided to request the Seabed Disputes Chamber to render an advisory opinion on the following questions:
1. What are the legal responsibilities and obligations of States Parties to the Convention with respect to the sponsorship of activities in the Area in accordance with the Convention, in particular Part XI, and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982?
2. What is the extent of liability of a State Party for any failure to comply with the provisions of the Convention, in particular Part XI, and the 1994 Agreement, by an entity whom it has sponsored under Article 153, paragraph 2 (b), of the Convention?
3. What are the necessary and appropriate measures that a sponsoring State must take in order to fulfil its responsibility under the Convention, in particular Article 139 and Annex III, and the 1994 Agreement?
The Request for an Advisory Opinion was transmitted by letter dated 11 May 2010, from the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Mr Nii Odunton, addressed to the President of the Seabed Disputes Chamber, Judge Tullio Treves. The Request was filed with the Registry on 14 May 2010. Subsequently, the Authority submitted a dossier to the Chamber containing documents, decisions and other material of the Authority as well as international instruments and other material likely to throw light upon the three legal questions on which the advisory opinion of the Seabed Disputes Chamber is requested. The dossier is available on the Tribunal’s website.
In accordance with article 133 of the Rules of the Tribunal, the Registrar gave notice of the Request for an advisory opinion to all States Parties to the Convention and to those organizations invited as intergovernmental organizations to participate as observers in the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority.
By Order of 18 May 2010, the President of the Seabed Disputes Chamber decided that the International Seabed Authority and those organizations referred to above are considered likely to be able to furnish information on the questions submitted to the Seabed Disputes Chamber and invited them and the States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to present written statements on the questions contained in the Request. The Order of 28 July 2010 fixed 19 August 2010 as the time-limit for the presentation of written statements.
Twelve States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and three intergovernmental organizations filed written statements within the time-limit as follows (in order of receipt):
Interoceanmetal Joint Organization; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Republic of Nauru; Republic of Korea; Romania; Kingdom of the Netherlands; Russian Federation; United Mexican States; International Union for Conservation of Nature; Federal Republic of Germany; People’s Republic of China; Australia; Republic of Chile; Republic of the Philippines; International Seabed Authority.
An additional statement was received from the United Nations Environmental Programme after the expiry of the time-limit.
A written statement was also submitted to the Chamber by Stichting Greenpeace Council (Greenpeace International) and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
The written statements are available on the Tribunal’s website.
The hearings will be transmitted live on the website of the Tribunal at http://www.itlos.org/procedings/video/live_en.shtml.
Short interludes in transmission may occur due to congestion on the
Tribunal’s site. A recorded webcast of the hearings will be available
after each sitting under Webcast Archives at: http://www.itlos.org/procedings/video/start_en.shtml.
The press releases of the Tribunal, documents and other information are available on the Tribunal’s websites: http://www.itlos.org and http://www.tidm.org and from the Registry of the Tribunal. Please contact Ms Julia Ritter at: Am Internationalen Seegerichtshof 1, 22609 Hamburg, Germany,
Tel.: +49 (40) 35607-227; Fax: +49 (40) 35607-245;
World Trade Report 2010
The newly released 2010 World Trade Report focuses on trade in natural resources, such as fuels, forestry, mining and fisheries. The entire report, which can be downloaded from the official WTO website, examines the characteristics of trade in natural resources and the policy choices available to governments. It also discusses how trade in the sector fits within the legal framework of the WTO and other international agreements that regulate trade in natural resources.
To search for general treatises on WTO in the law library collection, search in Morris under subject headings “World Trade Organization”, “Foreign Trade Regulations”, and "International Trade". Electronic resources subscribed by the law library include WorldTradeLaw.net and our BNA subscription, which provides access to International Trade Daily, International Trade Reporter, and WTO Reporter.
World Treaty Index - beta
World Treaty Index (WTI) is a new database that aspires to contain every known international agreement of the 20th century by January 2011 -- over 85,000 treaties! At the moment there are about 53,000 agreements.
This new database will eventually allow the user to calculate histograms on the fly, perform combination searches (by topic, country, etc), merge with other datasets (using the Correlates of War codes), and download all or part of the data in a .csv file.
I just did a search for treaties between Argentina and Uruguay and got 63 results between 1945-1990 with citation information where available (this is not a full-text database). The results tell me what type of treaty (bilateral or multilateral), the date of the treaty, the topic, and the title in English. What a resource!
Both the website and topic codes build upon the work of Peter Rohn from the University of Washington who conducted the original WTI collection process in the 1960's and 1970's.
Here is the direct URL to the database:
Feel free to email the creators of this database with any problems and/or suggestions.
Global Arbitration Review - new subscription
We now have IP access to Global Arbitration Review, one of the leading sources of information for international arbitration professionals. This is a subscription for the Yale community and requires a VPN connection off-campus.
The URL is: http://www.globalarbitrationreview.com/
In addition to having access to the electronic version of the print GAR journal, the GAR website also provides news, surveys, and interviews targeted for the arbitration professional.
ICRC's Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law - now online!
The invaluable and immense three-volume study on customary international humanitarian law conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and published by Cambridge University Press in 2005 is now available free online: http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/home. I have used this work to find, for example, relevant sections of a foreign country's military manual.
The Study has two parts:
- Rules - a comprehensive (but not exhaustive) analysis of the customary rules of international humanitarian law identified by the Study and considered to be applicable in all armed conflicts.
- Practice - for each aspect of international humanitarian law covered, a summary of relevant state practice including military manuals, legislation, case law, and official statements; practice of international organizations, conferences, and judicial and quasi-judicial bodies.
We have this work in print here: http://morris.law.yale.edu/record=b591517~S1.
A complementary work, Perspectives on the ICRC Study on Customary International
Law, is here: http://morris.law.yale.edu/record=b668444~S1.
"Perspectives on the ICRC Study on Customary International Humanitarian
Law results from a year-long examination of the Study by a group of
military lawyers, academics and practitioners, all with experience in
international humanitarian law. The book discusses the Study, its
methodology and its rules and provides a critical analysis of them. It
adds its own contribution to scholarship on the interpretation and
application of international humanitarian law."
The ICRC has two other databases:
- Treaties - contains treaties, commentaries, and other documents related to international humanitarian law: http://www.icrc.org/ihl.
- National Implementation - provides documentation and commentaries concerning the implementation of international humanitarian law at the national level: http://www.icrc.org/ihl-nat.
Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
Today is the anniversary of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. You can see an image of the Treaty on the National Archives website.
Per the National Archives, "the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which brought an official end to the Mexican-American
War (1846–48), was signed on February 2, 1848, at Guadalupe Hidalgo, a
city to which the Mexican government had fled with the advance of U.S. forces.
Signed on February 2, 1848, this treaty ended the war between the
United States and Mexico. By its terms, Mexico ceded 55 percent of its
territory, including parts of present-day Arizona, California, New
Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah, to the United States." In sum, Mexico ceded 525,000 square miles (55% of its pre-war territory, not including Texas) to the United States in exchange for $15 million ($313 million in 2006 dollars).
The library has several items specific to the treaty including:
The Library of Congress has assigned a subject heading for material related to this treaty: Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of, 1848.
Yale's Avalon Project also has the full-text of the treaty.
U.S. Treaties prior to 1950, such as the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (9 Stat. 922), were published in the Statutes at Large. Volume 64, Part 3, contains an Index of all treaties ratified by the United States prior to 1950.
Treaties to which the U.S. is a party are now published in United States Treaties and other International Agreements.
NEW DATABASE -- Kluwer Arbitration
Kluwer Arbitration is now available via IP Access on the CCH IntelliConnect platform. You must register though it is very quick -- just email and password.
According to CCH:
Kluwer Arbitration is the world's leading online resource for international commercial arbitration research. It contains a wealth of commentary from expert practitioner authors and an extensive collection of primary source materials. It is a comprehensive, authoritative and up-to-date arbitration library that is designed for quick and simple browsing and searching. Kluwer Arbitration includes case law, commentary, conventions, legislation and rules. This resource has been recently expanded with an Investment Arbitration section. This section provides a wealth of fully searchable investment materials.
We will run this database on a one-year trial basis so if you use this database, please let us know -- and let us know what you think of it!
Send any feed back to Teresa Miguel or Fred Shapiro.
After Genocide - Rwanda & Beyond
Our very own Zachary D. Kaufman, YLS JD Candidate '09, will be giving a book talk this Friday, April 17, 2009, at 4:00pm, in the Law Library's L3 Periodical Reading Room. Zach, an Olin Fellow and editor-in-chief of the Yale Law & Policy Review edited After Genocide: Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, and Reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond with Philip Clark, research fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of
Oxford, and co-founder of Oxford Transitional Justice Research.
In After Genocide, published by Columbia University Press, ". . . leading scholars and practitioners analyze the political, legal, and
regional impact of events in post-genocide Rwanda within the broader
themes of transitional justice, reconstruction, and reconciliation."
The book includes ". . . chapters from Rwandan academics and practitioners, such as
Tom Ndahiro, Solomon Nsabiyera Gasana, and Jean Baptiste Kayigamba—all
of whom are also survivors of the 1994 genocide—and draws on their
personal experiences. After Genocide constitutes the most comprehensive survey to date of issues related to post-genocide Rwanda and transitional justice." Read a more complete description of the book.
After Genocide is not on our shelves yet, but it will be very soon!
On a related note, to start researching the domestic law of Rwanda, begin with our Country-by-Country guide. A nice portal to Rwandan legislation is Lexadin's World Law Guide. Also, a simple Morris "Call Number" search for Rwanda -- KTD --will return a list of titles that have been assigned to Rwandan law. Other human rights materials related to Rwanda are found elsewhere in the library collection. A Morris Subject Heading" search, human rights rwanda, will return more resources cataloged primarily under human rights rather than strictly Rwandan law.
Treaty Research with Flare
The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies has released a new easy-to-use treaty index: FIT, the Flare Index to Treaties.
FIT is searchable by any one or a combination of the following:
keywords drawn from the official, popular and alternative
titles which have been used for each treaty
additional keywords relevant to the subject matter
or organisations associated with the treaty
the date on which the treaty was concluded
the place where the treaty was concluded
For example, a free-text search for "genocide" will redirect you to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. When you click on the Convention, you'll discover that the treaty was concluded on 9/12/1958 in New York, and is published at 78 UNTS 277 (and many other places). There are also several links that will take you to the full-text of the convention.
For more resources related to treaty research, including a drafting history (travaux preparatoires) research guide and an annotated list of databases, see the Yale Foreign and International Resources page.
Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS)
The State Deparment recently began publishing online the Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS). This website is open-access and a work-in-progress. As of today there are only treaties from the years 1996 - 1998. The treaties are available in pdf. UPDATE: TIAS is now available up to 2001.
You can find scanned pdfs of the TIAS print volumes on HeinOnline from 1982 - 1996. UPDATE: TIAS is now available up to 2000.
The print volumes of TIAS are available on L1 (KZ235.32 .U55) but have only been published up to 1998.
War Crimes Research Portal and Webcasts
The Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve law school has developed an exiting new War Crimes Research Portal. The portal has four features:
- the portal contains over a thousand links to websites related to international humanitarian law, arranged alphabetically by subject area and including a summary of the content of each site;
- the portal contains the text of over 120 research memoranda on issues pending before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Court. The memos can be searched by date published, title, or keywords. (Cites to the memos should take the following form: [Author’s name], [Title of Memo], Research Memorandum Prepared for the Office of the Prosecutor of the [Name of Tribunal], [Date].);
- there is a Research Guide to international humanitarian law and tribunals, prepared by the Case Law School Law Library, which includes a bibliography of relevant articles and books, as well as links to international law journals on the Web;
- the portal contains "instant analysis" articles, written each month by the members of the American Branch of the International Association of Penal Law, on the hottest topics in international criminal law.
Frederick K. Cox International Law Center also has webcasts available of recent events:
When searching for books on war crimes and humanitarian law in Morris, try searching by the following Subject Headings:
- war crime trials
- war (international law)
- guerillas (international law)
HeinOnline's new United Nations Law Collection
HeinOnline is a subscription database collection available to the Yale community.*
HeinOnline's United Nations Law Collection will allow you
to access UN research materials quickly and easily using the Finding Aids
available from the collection home page.
The Finding Aids include the ability to:
- Find and retrieve a UN Treaty by entering the UNTS Citation
- Search for
a UN Treaty by treaty/registration number, country, short title, popular name
- Search by
subject, as all treaties have been assigned a Kavass Subject
- Find and
link directly to law review articles that cite a UN Treaty
Hein has also developed user guides, video tutorials,
FAQ’s, and more. Training Resources Include:
The United Nations Law Collection Wiki page contains
links to the Quick Reference Guide, Video Tutorial, FAQs, How-To information,
search examples, and more!
Hein further invites users to collaborate and join in discussions via HeinOnline’s 2.0 Community.
Friend Hein on Facebook, collaborate on Hein's Wiki, subscribe to Hein's Blog,
watch Hein on YouTube, or follow Hein on Twitter!
Visit Hein at http://www.heinonline.org/home/training/Educational_Resources.html
to find out more about our virtual community.
*In order to access HeinOnline and other Yale subscription database from
off-campus, you must be connected to the Yale network via VPN.
International Video Law Library
The International Video Law Library is a fantastic place to find, listen to, and watch leading experts in the field discuss substantive international law issues. Also within the International Video Law Library is the Human Rights Video Library.
Some of the lectures in the library include:
- Philippe Kirsch, President of the International Criminal Court, for an
interview in September 2005 in which he introduced himself, and went on
to give the historical background of the creation of the International Criminal Court. President Kirsch then when on to explain how the Court functions, its structure, and finally gave a status report of the Court's activites as of 2005.
James Crawford , Whewell Professor of International Law, University of Cambridge, considers his time at the UN International Law Commission as part of the Working Group on an International Criminal Court and the drafting of the 1994 Draft Statute for an International Criminal Court. The
1994 ILC Draft was source of the drafting process which ultimately lead
to the 1998 Rome Diplomatic Conference and the creation of the
International Criminal Court.
Judge Navanethem Pillay,
President of the International Criminal for Rwanda Tribunal (1999 -
2003) and later Judge of the International Criminal Court introduces
herself and explains why the Rwanda Tribunal was established. Judge Pillay speaks about the legacy which the ICTR will leave in respect to the
evolution of international jursiprudence, and discusses the means by which the ICTR will finish its work.
Christine Chinkin, Professor of
International Law at the London School of Economics and Political
Science (LSE), discusses the feminist approach to international law.
There are many more. Enjoy!
Of course the Yale Law Library has a fantastic print and electronic international law library. For a list of our electronic international law resources, go to our webpage of Foreign, International and Transnational Law Resources. Our international law reference books, treatises, looseleafs, and monographs are in the compact and open shelving areas and reading room on L1 as well as the Upper East Side. The librarians are more than happy to assist you with your international legal research!
EU and Cuba Renew Relations
The BBC recently reported that the EU and Cuba have formally renewed ties that were severed 5 years ago following "a mass arrest of dissidents." Cuba will now receive 2 million Euros of aid for the hurricanes that swept over the island this summer; aid will increase to 30 million Euros next year.
The Yale Law Library purchases Cuban legal materials whenever possible, in both English and Spanish. You can find Cuban materials on the Lower East Side (LES), Call No. KGN. See, for example:
Of course we also collect interdisciplinary materials involving Cuba and the United States. Try a Subject Heading search in our Morris catalog:
- Cuba - Foreign Relations - United States; or
- Cuba - Foreign Economic Relations - United States
- When you pull up an item record on Morris, click on any of the Subjects Headings to view other related Subject Headings. Click again on any of the Subject Headings to find related books.
For a compilation of treaties involving Cuba, try another Subject Heading search: Cuba - Foreign Relations - Treaties . Also check out the new and improved United Nations Treaty Collection database. It's open-access and easy to search.
We also have a few Cuban DVDs:
The Avalon Project also has documents pertaining to Cuba, specifically the Cuban Missile Crisis.
United Nations Treaty Collection
The new and improved United Nations Treaty Collection database is up and running. In this fabulous open-access database, you can find the complete run of the United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS), League of Nations Treaty Series (LoN), Multilateral treaties deposited with the
UN, Status of Treaties (MTDSG), Certified True Copies (CTCs) of treaties (pdfs), and
Depositary Notifications (CNs). There is a UN legal research guide, cumulative index, and more. The database has been further refined to offer a variety of
advanced search features including Popular Name search, Title search,
and Participant search.
UNTS is also available in print in the tunnel between L1 and the UES. You can find all of Yale's subscription-based and some open-access international law databases and resources on our Foreign and International Law Resources page.
Guantanamo Bay Cases
The U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia has created a webpage of public information on the Guantanamo Bay cases. Find the court schedule, court orders and opinions, and press releases and notices.
Meanwhile, back at the camp, the trial of Osama Bin Laden's driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, began about 10 days ago, as reported on NPR. In 2006, Yale law students worked closely with Mr. Hamdan's lawyer, Neal Katyal, a YLS grad, in his challenge of the use of military commissions; they were victorious. As a result, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Another Guantanamo prisoner, Omar Khadr, has been in the news recently as a result of the release of a videotaped interrogation conducted on the island. The video was released by Mr. Khadar's defense team, as explained in this story on NPR. An interesting history of Mr. Khadar's life and eventual detention at Guantanamo can be read in a 2006 article in Rolling Stone; a summary of his legal history can be found on Human Rights First.
The U.S. Dept. of Defense, Military Commissions, has a website with court filings and documents pertaining to Mr. Khadr's and Mr. Hamdan's cases, as well as other Guantanamo Bay detainees facing trial. The Military Commissions Act and Military Commissions Manual can also be found here.
The Yale Law Library has several recently published book on the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Guantanamo detainees:
We also have interesting historical works on military commissions in the U.S.:
There are several online, free research guides pertaining to the Military Commissions Act of 2006:
Recueil de Cours - online! Part II
Recently I wrote that The Hague Academy of International Law's Recueil des Cours de l'Academie de la Haye was online with free browsing but at the time the Yale Law Library had not yet purchased a subscription to the full-text.
Today I am happy to write that we have subscribed and you can now browse, search and access all the full-text articles.
"The Academy is a prestigious international institution for the study and teaching of Public and Private
International Law and related subjects. The work of the Hague Academy receives the support and recognition of
the UN. Its purpose is to encourage a thorough and impartial examination of the problems arising from
international relations in the field of law. The courses deal with the theoretical and practical aspects of
the subject, including legislation and case law. All courses at the Academy are, in principle, published in the language in which they were delivered in the
Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law.
You can also access our complete print collection in the Yale Law Library on L1, Call
No. KZ 3092 .R43.
Finders keepers? Spain claims sunken treasure
NPR reported this morning on Spain's battle to reclaim the treasure from a sunken Spanish vessel recovered in international waters in the Atlantic Ocean by Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa, FL. The 19th century shipwreck contained some 17 tons in silver coins, cuff links and other personal items, and
other artifacts; it may be the most valuable treasure ever discovered. Exact details of the discovery have yet to be revealed.
A Federal District Court in Tampa is reviewing Spain's claim to the treasure that Odyssey recovered. Spain insists that Odyssey's claim to the warship Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is immoral and illegal. Spain compares the Nuestra Señora site to the grave sites of Gettysburg and the U.S.S. Arizona, as the sinking of Nuestra Señora precipitated Spain's entry into the Napoleonic wars. Odyssey maintains, however, that they found no vessel and no human remains, just the cargo, and there is nothing to prove that it is the cargo of La Senora. In PACER, the federal court's password-protected electronic filing database (which is available free to the public in several federal depository libraries), you can review court filings for this case (8:07-cv-00614-SDM-MAP) as well as several others in which the Kingdom of Spain has filed a claim (ask a reference librarian for assistance if needed).
So just what is the law pertaining to sunken treasures? Finders keepers? Return to rightful owner?
The Yale Law Library has several books pertaining to the law of sunken treasure and cultural patrimony. See, for example, Legal Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: National and International Perspectives. This book compares the laws, traditions, and perspectives of various countries, including the United States and Spain. Note the Subject Headings at the bottom of the record: Cultural property -- Protection -- Law and legislation; Shipwrecks; Salvage; Treasure-trove; Underwater archaeology -- Law and legislation. Click on any of them to find more works pertaining to that topic.
In comparison, see, The Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: National Perspectives in Light of the UNESCO Convention 2001, for an international law focus and analysis. Under the Subject Heading, underwater archaeology - law and legislation, you will find books in several languages other than English, including French German, Spanish, Russian and Italian. Admiralty law also comes into play, specifically the Supplementary Admiralty Rules. See also, Admiralty and Maritime Law, available in print and electronically.
There are several international law databases you might try as well to find case law and law review articles. See our Foreign and International Resources page for the plethora of electronic resources at your fingertips, or ask a reference librarian for assistance.
Cyclone Nargis has thrust Myanmar into the public spotlight, as pressure increases to allow foreign aid to help cyclone victims.
In February, Myanmar had announced its intention to hold a democratic referendum on a draft constitution this month, and to hold democratic elections in 2010. Immediately prior to the cyclone, on May 2, 2008, the U.N. had taken official notice of Myanmar's intent and encouraged an open process. However, today the U.N. is urging Myanmar to delay this process.
Myanmar is being monitored by the United Nations for human rights violations. On March 18, 2008, the UN
Security Council held a meeting during which Ibrahim
Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Myanmar, reported on his March 6 - 10, 2008 visit
Myanmar. Mr. Kyaw Tint Swe, the government representative from Myanmar,
was present and also spoke at the meeting. The meeting was transcribed
in S.PV/5854, the provisional record of the public briefing.
The United Nations Human Rights Council has spoken many times to the human rights situation in Myanmar. Most recently, on March 28, 2008, the Council adopted resolution A/HRC/7/L.36 wherein the Council strongly deplored the "ongoing systematic
violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of
Myanmar" and extended the mandates of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and
protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. In a separate but related resolution A/HRC/7/L.37, the HRC, in accordance
with Commission on Human Rights
resolutions 1992/58 and 2005/10 of 14
April 2005, extended for one year the the Special Rapporteur's mandate, and urged, inter alia, the Government of Myanmar to "cooperate
fully with the Special Rapporteur and to respond favourably to his
requests to visit the country and to provide him with all information
and access to relevant bodies and institutions necessary to enable him
to fulfill his mandate effectively."
Watch the U.N. Human Rights Council, 7th Session UN Webcast on the two resolutions: the "Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar" (A/HRC/7/L.36), and "Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar" (A/HRC/7/L.37). both from March 28, 2008 at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. See also, an archived video of "The Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar" from October 2, 2007 at the Palais de Nations in Geneva.
Find Security Council and other UN documents related to Myanmar on the website of the Security Council Report - Myanmar. SCR is an NGO headquartered in New York City.
The Yale Law Library collects human rights and interdisciplinary materials
pertaining to Myanmar; they are cataloged and located with other human
rights publications or social science materials on the Upper East Side rather than in the
Myanmar/Burmese legal collection (KNL) on the Lower East Side. If you
conduct a Morris Subject Heading search: Human Rights - Burma,
you'll return 26 hits. You can then sort Newest First and you'll find
several books written in the last few years, including a 2008
publication entitled Promoting Human Rights in Burma: A Critique of Western Sanctions Policy.
The Yale Law Library has a 2005 volume of Myanmar Laws, our most current compilation of laws from Myanmar. This is an English translation of the yearbook of Myanmar laws originally published in Burmese. You will find older materials if you do a Subject Heading search on Morris: Laws - Burma. Note that the laws of Myanmar are still cataloged by Library of Congress using Burma rather than Myanmar. Why is that? During a 2006 interview, Barbara Tillett, chief of the Library of Congress Cataloging Policy and Support Office, explained: "The Library of Congress is the national library for the United
States and to some extent we reflect US policy (for example using Burma
not Myanmar)." Read the BBC's take on this issue. You will see that our collection of law from Myanmar is quite small; there is not a lot being published nor do we heavily collect from this country. See our Country-by-Country guide to foreign legal research: Myanmar, for more print and electronic resources.
For assistance researching Myanmar law, please contact the reference team.
Brandeis Institute for International Judges
The Brandeis Institute for International Judges (BIIJ) "provides international judges with the opportunity to meet and
discuss critical issues concerning the theory and practice of
international justice. Institutes are held approximately every 18
months, bringing together judges serving on international courts and
tribunals around the world to reflect on both the philosophical aspects
and practical challenges of their work. The most recent Institute was
held from July 23-28, 2007, in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA. The
next Institute is scheduled for January 4-9, 2009, in Trinidad."
The BIIJ website has reports for each of the previous institutes along with a group photo of each year's participants. The BIIJ is just one of the Brandeis Programs in International Justice and Society, which is part of the The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University.
The Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal
NPR reported this morning that Tariq Aziz, former Iraqi Foreign Minister under Saddam Hussein, begins trial today for the execution of forty-two food merchants in 1992. Aziz, 72, has been in prison for over 5 years and is challenging the charges. In the Anfal Campaign Trial, Gen. Ali Hassan Majeed, aka Chemical Ali for his use of poisonous gas against villagers, has already been sentenced to death by hanging for the mass killings of Kurds during the Sadaam era. Here you can find an English translation of the Anfal Campaign Judgment. Of course, Saddam Hussein was convicted, sentenced to death, and executed by the Iraqi Special Tribunal on December 30, 2006.
The Iraqi Special Tribunal, also known as the Iraqi High Tribunal or the Special Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT), was initially created in 2003 by the Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal (also found here), issued by the now-dissolved Coalition Provisional Authority and enacted by the Iraqi Governing Council. Due to legitimacy questions raised as a result of the Tribunal being established by an occupying force, the Iraqi Interim Government passed a new statute (pdf) in 2005 creating the current Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT). The SICT, like its predecessor, is an independent tribunal located in Baghdad devoted to the prosecution of Saddam Hussein and the leaders of his regime for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other crimes committed between 1968 and 2003.
The Law Library of Congress has an excellent website on the trial of Saddam Hussein. The site includes primary documents and secondary resources pertaining to Saddam Hussein's trial, the creation of the Special Tribunal and appeal, and the laws, treaties, and resolutions related to the Tribunal and relevant trials.
The Yale Law Library has many books written on the Hussein trial, the Tribunal, and Iraq generally. See, for example, Saddam on Trial: Understanding and Debating the Iraqi High Tribunal. Also try a Subject Heading serach: Hussein, Saddam. All Iraqi foreign law is classified under KMJ and can be found on the Lower East Side. For electronic resources pertaining to Iraqi law, see our Country-by-Country guide to legal research. Finally, for research assistance, don't hesitate to contact the reference team.
Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal
The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, established on January 19, 1981 and located in the Hague, was created in an effort to resolve the crisis between the
Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America arising from the detention of 52 United States nationals at the United States
Embassy in Tehran which commenced in November 1979, and the subsequent
freeze of Iranian assets by the United States of America.
The Tribunal has jurisdiction to decide claims of United States
nationals against Iran and of Iranian nationals against the United
States which arise out of:
- debts, contracts, expropriations or other
measures affecting property rights;
- certain "official claims" between
the two Governments relating to the purchase and sale of goods and
- disputes between the two Governments concerning the
interpretation or performance of the Algiers Declarations; and,
claims between United States and Iranian banking institutions.
The Official website of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal is in both English and Persian. It contains background information, governing documents, and a searchable database of tribunal decisions, awards, and other documents. You must register for the database; it is free and login information will be emailed to you within a week or so.
Yale Law Library also has the complete collection of decisions and awards in the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal Reports - KZ238.I7 I73 on L1. We also have monographs on L1 analyzing the tribunal and the decisions of the tribunal. See, for example:
- The Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at 25: the cases everyone needs to know for investor-state & international arbitration - KZ238.I7 D72 2007
- The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal and the process of international claims resolution: a study by the Panel on State Responsibility of the American Society of International Law - KZ 238.I7 I733 2000
- UNCITRAL arbitration rules as interpreted and applied: selected
problems in light of the practice of the Iran-United States Claims
Tribunal - KZ238.I7 P45 1994
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
On February 14, 2005, Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 other were killed in a bomb attack in Beirut. The act was immediately condemned as a "terrorist bombing" in a formal statement by the President of the United Nations Security Council. Shortly thereafter, the U.N. appointed an international independent investigation Commission. About one year later, on May 29, 2006, pursuant to Security Council resolution 1664, the United Nations
and the Lebanese Republic negotiated an agreement on the establishment
of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Further, pursuant to Security Council
resolution 1757 (Annex and Statute included) of May 30, 2007, the U.N. Security Council held, inter alia, that the Statute of the Special Tribunal,
would enter into force on June 10, 2007.
The U.N. Special Tribunal website has a complete list of documents relating to the creation of the Special Tribunal. There is also a timeline of events and a factsheet explaining the procedures and applicable law of the Special Tribunal.
Lebanese criminal law relating to the prosecution and punishment for acts of terrorism and crimes and offenses against life and personal integrity will apply to the Special Tribunal; the death penalty and forced labor have been excluded as possible punishments for those found guilty.
The Law Library of Congress has created a report, the Hariri Assassination Legal Commentary, also available in pdf, that "explains some of the legal issues relevant to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon by discussing:
- the jurisdictional basis for international judicial bodies;
- examining the jurisdictional reach of mixed tribunals;
- exploring the legal nature of the February 14, 2005 bombing; and
a number of legal questions for which the final answers may shape
radically the jurisdictional reach of international criminal law."
Ulrich Mans and Lisette Sinkeler of the Hague Center for Strategic Studies express their opinion on the Special Tribunal (also in pdf). The report notes that eight anti-Syrian politicians have been killed since 2004, and acknowledges that the Hague will become, for Lebanese and Syrians, a place of "public accusation of the most influential elites in Syria."
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad repeatedly denies that his country had anything to do with the murder of Prime Minister Hariri. (See, CNN interview, among many other news reports in the BBC, NYT, and others).
Security Council Report, a non-profit working with Columbia University's Center on International Organization, has monthly reports on Lebanon as well as key U.N. documents referenced in their reports.
Children’s Rights: International and National Laws and Practices
The Library of Congress has launched a series of multinational, comparative legal studies on the rights of children.
"Children’s Rights examines sixteen nations, across five continents: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Iran,
Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, and the United
Kingdom (England and Wales). For each nation, the study focuses on the
domestic laws and policies that affect child health and social welfare,
education and special needs, child labor and exploitation, sale and
trafficking of children, and juvenile justice. Children’s Rights also lists which pertinent international treaties the nation has ratified and implemented."
The reports, as well as an overview (providing a summary of relevant global and regional legal instruments, including
human-rights related instruments and international agreements on
child protection and placement), are available in both html and pdf format, with footnotes and hyperlinks. The overview and the country reports, as they become available, can be accessed from the project's main page.
Recueil des Cours - online!
Finally! It's online and searchable! The Hague Academy of International Law's Recueil des Cours de l'Academie de la Haye. One can search
this entire collection of international law articles by volume, year,
author, or keyword. Although we do not subscribe to full-text access to the articles, once you have found a relevant article, you can locate it in our complete print collection in the Yale Law Library on L1, Call No. KZ 3092 .R43.
Foreign, Comparative, Transnational, and International Legal Research
Don't know where to find the criminal code for the Ivory Coast? Or jurisprudence from the Constitutional Court of South Africa? Or a case decided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights? Try the F/I Research Resources page. This page will link you to primary and secondary sources to help you get started on your research. The Country-by-Country Guide will point you to valuable legal research guides for each country in the world. You will also find annotated lists of foreign and international databases, both open-access and subscription-based. For specialized assistance with your research, please do not hesitate to contact Teresa Miguel or any of our reference librarians.